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The most stressful jobs in the UK are in the healthcare sector, as well as education and welfare. All around the world, healthcare providers are going through a lot of stress as a result of their long working hours and their hectic schedule. In a profession that pays such attention to the wellbeing of its patients, the focus couldn’t be more different for doctors, surgeons and nurses. 
According to the survey in the US, 69% of health care workers report feeling stressed. Considering the current NHS crisis in the UK and the drops in EU professionals since the Brexit referendum, it is fair to say that the percentage of stressed-out workers in Britain is a lot higher. Nevertheless, we don’t hear about many burnout cases in the healthcare sector. So how do professionals manage to stay on top of their field? 



Experts never stop learning 
First of all, medical experts are in a position where they constantly need to learn more about health conditions and patient behaviours to ensure they always provide the best of services. In a situation where they improve their knowledge all the time, through reading dedicated medical articles or joining online workshops to enhance your skills – such as ensuring in-depth care for young patients with the safeguarding children level 2 cheap online course, or training to deal with patients struggling with severe mental health disorders – professionals can sharpen their diagnostic and patient management competence. In other words, the better you get at what you do, the more stress-resilient you become. 

They learn to get their sh*t together
It’s important to understand that anybody who comes to the healthcare sector follows an extensive practice programme, during which they can develop an anti-anxiety mindset. You don’t become a nurse or a doctor overnight. You spend a lot of time working with professionals to hone your skills, and as you do, you learn to manage anxiety and high pressure. Ultimately, the main reason why many healthcare experts are better equipped to handle stress is that they’ve had to get used to getting their sh*t together early in their career. They can’t have the luxury of anxiety when other lives are in the balance. 

They are best placed to understand the risks of stress
As a healthcare worker, one of the first lessons you get to learn is to see the damage that stress can do to human health. Many patients struggle with a variety of health issues which are linked to stress. As a professional doctor or nurse, you have first-hand experience on what it can do to your mind and body if you ignore it. Therefore, at the first signs of feeling overwhelmed or getting aggressive, it’s helpful to have a coping strategy. Something as simple as breathing exercises can take the edge of a difficult situation and give you back control in a matter of minutes. In a hectic environment where time is of the essence, coping quickly and effectively is vital. 

There is no denying that doctors, nurses, surgeons and many other healthcare specialists have to learn to handle huge amounts of pressure on a daily basis. Stress resilience is a learned skill that they develop over time through their careers. Hopefully, this can give you a new form of respect for your GP, or maybe you can ask them for a few tips.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. Image source Flickr. Header image source Pexels.



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*This is a collaborative post*

Planning the perfect wedding can seem like a huge challenge. And something that is going to zap your bank account repeatedly until the day arrives. In fact, weddings come up as one of the most stressful things next to moving home, having babies, and moving careers. But of course, when you are searching for everything from rental tuxedos to live music wedding entertainment ideas, it can feel like there is simply too much to do.

However, you probably have plenty of time to plan, and you just need to choose what works for you. Often we place what other people want ahead of our own wishes - which is where some of the stress comes from.


Once you have arranged all of the legalities, then you can get down to planning the fun stuff. The wedding party and meals! This is the bit where you can relax, sip some wine, and head out on the dance floor.

Just always remember that this day is about you and your partner, it is a celebration of your love for each other.

Set A Realistic Budget

People start looking at castles, huge country manors, and often the budget doesn’t stretch that far unless you are giving yourself a few years worth of saving and payment plans. Which can be really horrible if something goes wrong. Try and be realistic about what you can comfortably afford. If you are considering things like an open bar, try to imagine how much people can consume when it’s ‘free.’ Be smart.
Theme
If you know what you want - from Willy Wonka to Disney Princess, then pick it and stick to it. They can be a lot of fun and something different. You aren’t beholden to any traditions that you don’t want to include, and you can really personalize what you want by doing this. You are free to do something unique and break the mold.
Team
Pick a team of people who are going to call you out when you start to be silly with your budget and will support you when things go a little wrong. You need to pick people that have your best interests at heart, no matter what that looks like. They won’t let you get carried away and will help you fill all of the favors at 3am when you just can’t get it all done by yourself.
Non-Negotiable
There should be a list of things that you simply cannot be without. It might be a giant chocolate cake, or maybe it is a cheese fountain. Whatever it is, be sure of them and write them down. This is where the most significant chunk of your budgets are going to be going towards. Talk this through with your partner - and you might find you are holding the same things on your list. Other things like a pumpkin carriage or getting married on a football field might need some discussions though.


Your wedding is about you, so work towards what you want. 


*Contributed by Sam Jones. Header image source.


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It is hard to comprehend that we are already well on our way into the summer which means that for many people out there, the month of September is getting closer than ever. While you may not realise the significance of it, and it is to you, just another month. For some people, September is a life-changing time of year for them. That is because students start their academic years. Whether it is your first for college or university, second or third, it can always be an apprehensive time. So here are some of the suggestions and tips to help you to start preparing for student life ahead of schedule.


Think about your accommodation

One of the first things that you may need to think about doing is sorting out your accommodation. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to find something close to college or university. Start looking now. Check out student lets, private rentals, and see what is out there? Also consider sharing with friends if you are starting at the same place. It might even be an option to stay at home, which can keep your outgoings to a minimum.

Storage and keep things tidy

The next thing you may want to think about is storage and keeping things tidy in your new place, but also for the future. It might be that you have more things now, but they just won’t fit in your new place. This is when student self storage can come in handy. If anything, even if there isn’t much in it when you move in September, it is the ideal place to keep things for when it is holidays or when the academic year finishes, while you consider your next move. 

Commute to school

Figuring out where to live and what your options are may be essential, but within that decision you also need to commute. You don't want to live far out because it's cheaper, only to realise that the cost to get you to college or university increases because of the added travel time. Accomodation near great transport links should be a priority for you.

Discounts and saving money

Students get some great savings and options, so it is definitely worthwhile to consider what it is you can do to make the savings. There will be dedicated student websites where you can see exactly what discounts, vouchers, and savings you are entitled to. This helps to keep your outgoings low.

Getting all the equipment you need


Finally, don’t wait till the last minute before getting all the equipment you need for school, it is probably in your best interest to be prepared and make some purchases now. Write a list of what it is you think you need, and check out online blogs to ensure that you are not missing anything. Then slowly make purchases now so that you are ready instead of it feeling like a mad rush and a lot of stress to prepare.


Let’s hope these tips and suggestions have you ready for September and your next academic year.

*Contributed by Sam Jones. Image source


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*This is a collaborative post*


There Is So Much Choice!!

It has come to that time again where I am considering whether or not to renew my mobile phone contract with my current service provider. If like me you have some problems when it comes to knowing your iphones, from your Androids, and all the infinite details in between, then you should have a look at a comparison site which does the hard work for you. Being able to compare phone specs side by side makes it so much easier to choose which is the right phone for you. It also pays to check out mobile phone contract comparison sites such as this one. One of the major factors for many people when considering a new phone is cost and OneCompare allows you to browse and filter phones according to the monthly and upfront cost. You can also filter your search by data, network and contract length.

I have never been one of those people who has to have the latest phone, and I am not really bothered about it having a thousand functions, most of which I will never use. That being said, and being somewhat of a technophobe, my last three phones have all been Samsungs. I could not tell you the intricacies of what an android platform versus an iphone are, but one thing which has impressed me about the Samsung is the quality of the camera.

Being that I am an amateur photographer enthusiast, (it's a wild claim but I have always been fascinated by photography) being able to get clear snapshots of good times is very important to me. People often ask I why take so many photographs? In all honesty, I've lost count of the amount of times whereby a memory I have previously forgotten, is suddenly brought back to me in vivid colour thanks to the simple trigger of looking at a photograph.

So far I've had a Samsung S2, Samsung S4 Mini and now I have the Samsung S7, to be honest I think the best camera was actually in the S2, the 8 megapixels and internal setting enabled the user to snap away and take crystal clear shots. I find that with the S7, when taking photographs, in order to ensure a crisp and clearly focussed shot, you really need to use the flash. Trouble is the flash is so bright that when taking images of people it often results in people blinking. Fortunately the 'burst' shot function allows the user to take two (or even more) consecutive shots thereafter which is handy.


Image source Pixabay

I am tempted to next go for the Samsung S10, it apparently has one of the best cameras of any phone currently on the market. However, I find it difficult accessing some of the icons which appear in the top left corner of the screen rendering single (right) handed operation quite troublesome at times. This was a widespread enough issue for Samsung to offer up the S4 Mini, which enabled much easier single handed use. Unfortunately my current S7 is the same size as the S2 and so that problem persists. It is a relatively minor issue I personally have but it is not enough to outweigh the positives for me.

My brother and partner have Huawei phones, and from what I can tell the camera on them is great and it has some great functions, the portrait setting enables you to blur the background and increase focus to a really high level, enabling anyone to take some really incredible professional looking shots; and from what I can tell they are fairly decent all round phones. Although they have been in the press for all the wrong reasons of late, maybe do a bit of research before opting for one of these. 

After doing some research and looking at what everyone seems to be saying about the upgrade in it's camera software, I'm likely to get the Samsung S10 next. 

What phone do you currently use? Have you ever used a mobile phone comparison site?



*Header image source Pixabay



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As many of my long term readers will know, I am a huge Spice Girls fan so when I was asked to write this post I literally leapt at the chance! From the first day that I heard Wannabe back in 1996 - where has the time gone? - I was hooked. I wanted to be a Spice Girl, Baby Spice in particular. and I had to have every little bit of Spice Girls memorabilia that existed from stationery and magazines to the limited edition Spice Girls Impulse. Who remembers that?? 




Their posters adorned my walls, their music played out of my old Alba personal cassette player and my sisters had to endure me as I made them learn all the dance routines just so we could put on shows for mum and dad! Obsessed may have been a better word really but there was something about the Spice Girls that was just very, very special. They made me feel like anything was possible, that I had girl power too, that I was a part of something much bigger than just me and that I could achieve all my dreams. And at a time when I was still at high school and being picked on, the Spice Girls and what they stood for really got me through tough times. Even to this day, when a Spice Girls song comes on the radio I am filled with a feeling of excited nostalgia. Indeed when I need a pick me up or to feel inspired, Spice or Spiceworld are still my go to albums. 




Spice which was their debut album, sold millions of copies worldwide and it became the best selling album of all time by a female group. Since then the girls have gone on to sell more than 85 million records and have won a host of awards including a well deserved BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. It really was truly a special era, not only did they make history but they empowered individuals all across the globe with their message of girl power and positivity. 





They also appeared on many a TV advert and lent their faces to several brands. In fact back in 1997 when everything 'Spice Girls' was taking the world by storm, Walkers - the UK's favourite crisp brand, teamed up with both the girls and Gary Lineker for a fun and girl power filled TV advert! Now more than twenty years on and as they tour the UK and Ireland, the girls have once again teamed up with Walkers for a brand new TV advert which you can watch below.

Spice Girls' Superfan Shock Reaction | Must Be Walkers | Walkers Crisps - YouTube


Walkers reunites with the Spice Girls for the 'Walkers Spice Girls Best Ever Fan' campaign!

The advert which searches for the 'Best Ever Fan,' is Walkers at its classic best showing the lengths some people will go to avoid sharing their Walkers crisps. To be in with a chance of winning VIP tickets to a Spice Girls concert along with a meet and greet, five star accommodation and travel, fans were asked to post a Spice Girls related snapshot on social media along with the hashtag #BestEverFan and @Walkers_Crisps. Images could be from yesteryear or fans could instead create something new and this week on the 5th June, one of the thousands of submissions that were entered will take the title of 'Best Ever Fan' for real. What a prize! I'd have loved to have got tickets for this Spice Girls tour but unfortunately as the dates clashed with my baby's due date it was a tad impractical! Here's hoping that they do another tour and I can get tickets, fingers crossed hey?! In the meantime I'll instead crank up my Spice Girls tunes and live vicariously through fellow fans as they upload photos and updates to social media!



*Photo source/credit: 'Walkers 2019 Spice Girls Ad'


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Image Source Pixabay

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Alcohol is a big part of life for many of us, especially here in the UK. We have, for a long time, perpetuate a culture of binge drinkingfor its own sake. As a nation we don’t drink with the same restraint and savouring that we see from our continental cousins. We don’t drink to elevate the taste of our food or to appreciate the subtle nuances of flavour. We drink as if we’re locked in an ancient rite of competition. Sometimes we can find ourselves drinking as though we are carrying out some sort of national duty to get as inebriated as possible as quickly as possible. While few of us think of ourselves as binge drinkers, our culture has normalised alcohol consumption to such an extent that we can forget that whatever else alcohol may be, it’s also a drug.




As such, if we’re to take our general health seriously, we should always be somewhat self aware when it comes to our alcohol consumption. You might not need to check into an alcohol rehab centre, but it’s always important to check for signs that your relationship with alcohol has become problematic. Signs like...


Almost all of your social plans involve drinking


An active and varied social life is a hugely important part of maintaining peak mental health. While solitude can be important for all of us, most of our best memories are made when we’re surrounded by the people closest to us. However, if all of your social plans involve drinking this may not be healthy. Make sure you mix it up and incorporate lots of teetotal activities, too!


You’re not seeing the results you expect from your workouts


Alcohol can really throw a spanner in the works when it comes to pursuing the perfect summer body. Not only are most alcoholic drinks filled with empty calories, alcohol dehydrates your body and slows your metabolism. This can be an unholy trinity when it comes to shifting stubborn belly fat or putting on lean muscle mass.

Your friends comment on how well you can “handle” your drink


This may seem like a compliment, but it should actually give you pause. If friends frequently comment on your ability to handle your drink it could be that you’re building up a tolerance to alcohol. And this by itself is a compelling sign that you may be drinking too much.


You find yourself thinking “I need a drink” way more often than you’re comfortable with


Finally, alcohol can become a crutch that guides us through troublesome times. In times of stresswe can find ourselves needing a drink. In times of sadness we can find ourselves needing a drink. In times of anxiety we can find ourselves needing a drink. Suddenly alcohol can seem like the solutions to all of our problems, yet it can create far more problems than it solves.


Find healthier and more productive ways to relieve stress like yoga, punching the heck out of a bag or heading upstairs for an “early night” with your significant other.

*Contributed by Sam Jones*





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*This is a collaborative post*
There are many distinct challenges to having teenagerswhich you will need to face head on, and the better that you do, the more likely it is that you will be able to provide for them well and help them to live the best adult life that they can. Of course, one of the most important of these challenges is always going to be education. As long as your child is educated as well as possible, much in their life will be easier, so it is hugely important to make sure that this is something that they take seriously and which goes well. In this article, we are going to look at some of the things you might be able to do in order to encourage your teen to get more out of their school years. Any of these will help you to do that more effectively.



Motivation

A big problem for many teenagers is motivation, and if you find that your teen is lacking in this area then you will want to look into what you can do to improve that. As long as they have enough motivation, they will get more out of their education, and will put a lot more into it as well. But how do you encourage your children to be motivated when they might just not be so at that time in life? It’s actually not too hard overall, although it does take some persistence, which is something that can be very hard to have yourself. 

You can motivate them by talking them through their future goals and plans, as well as ensuring that they are aware of the consequences of a poor educational result. Of course, you shouldn’t suffocate them here, as that can often have the opposite effect. But as long as you get the balance right, motivating them in this way should make a difference.


Extra-Curricular Opportunities

It’s important too for your teenager to appreciate that it is not just the main part of the education itself which matters. It is also the entire realm of opportunities that exist around it, and that is something that will not come at many times in life. You should therefore do whatever you can to also encourage them to engage in as many of these extra-curricular activities as possible. It might be taking trips for sixth form students, engaging in some kind of art or craft which they enjoy, or whatever else. As long as they are keeping their options open, they will both enjoy it more and have more luck with it.



Study Time & Break Time

Something else which is very important is to ensure that your teenager understand how to balance out their timeeffectively, so that they are going to be able to study enough but not too much. Too much studying means that they might burn out, and that is absolutely not what you want to go for. As long as they find this balance effectively, they are bound to get much more out of their school years.

*Post contributed by Sam Jones*




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*This Is A Collaborative Post*

Managing your money and getting out of debtaren’t always the easiest of tasks. After all, if they were, there would be a lot fewer people struggling to figure out their personal finances. What makes these jobs that much more difficult, however, is paying attention to all of the financial advice you’re given throughout your life. Sayings like “You get what you pay for” certainly seem to make sense, but most of the time, they just don’t apply. This can cause you to make costly mistakes that put your finances at risk. With that in mind, here are ten money myths to ignore.


Two Incomes Are Better

Bringing extra money into the house is rarely a bad thing. However, having both you and your partner working could cost you more than you earn. If you have children and pets or need to travel quite a way away to get to your job, then you might have to spend out more than your salary on childcare and travel. Having two paychecks also makes some couples more careless with the money they have. In these circumstances, sticking with one income makes the most sense.


Good Salary Equals Stability

Making good money, unfortunately, doesn’t mean that you’re financially secure. For some families, even with a large salary, it can be difficult to pay the bills. Plus, it’s always a possibility that you could lose your job or might need to take some time away from it, in which case, you’d be left with little to no income anyway. This means that, even when you’re a high earner, you need a solid financial plan. You should also build an emergency fundand buy insurance cover.


Credit Cards Are Dangerous

Your credit card is not evil. In fact, it’s an incredibly helpful tool, which, when used correctly, is far from dangerous. When you pay on a credit card, it’s like taking out a small loan. But, as long as you pay your card off on time, you won’t face any interest. In fact, you’ll instead see a number of benefits, including a better credit score. Credit cards also offer extended warranties and fraud protection, which, in some cases, makes them a much safer option than paying in cash.


Only The Rich Invest

When most people imagine investing, they think of gold bars, jewellery, stocks, and houses, all of which are far from cheap. However, that doesn’t mean that this practice is for the wealthy alone. There are investments options out there for almost everyone, even those on the lowest of incomes. All that you need to do is find the opportunity that is right for you. For most of these options, you can get started almost right away. Just make sure that you consider the risks.


Wills Benefit The Elderly

Everyone is going to die someday, whether we want to admit it or not. But, not everyone manages to live a long life before they do. You never know what tomorrow might bring, which is why you should always have a will prepared. If you don’t already, there are many wills and probate solicitorsout there who can help you. Without this vital document, there are no guarantees that your money and assets will be divided in the way that you wanted them to be.



Renting Property Wastes Money

When you rent a property, you don’t get to keep the home, like you do when you buy it. This has led many to believe that it is a wasteful practice. That being said, while buying definitely has its advantages, it isn’t the best decision for everyone. If you’ve just started a new career, move around a lot, have no solid plans for the future, or are just quite young, then renting might be better for you right now. This gives you flexibility, which you won’t have if you buy a house.


Too Poor To Save

Regardless of your age or circumstances, everyone needs savings. This gives you a cash cushion to fall back on in emergencies or just on rainy days. Unfortunately, many people believe that they can’t save up, as they simply don’t earn enough money each month to allow them to. Rather than give up, you should find ways to free up some cash. You could start working from home, for example, or eliminate unnecessary expenses. You can switch to cheaper plans too.


Always Buy In Bulk

Buying in bulk is an effective way to save money on your shopping. Although you shouldn’t purchase everything you need in large quantities. Perishable items, for example, should usually be bought as and when you need them. The reason for this is that these goods tend to go bad before you get the chance to use them. This means that you’ll waste money rather than save it. Non-perishable items, on the other hand, like canned goods and soaps, can be a steal.


Quality Means Paying More

Although in some cases, you do get what you pay for, this isn’t always true. More often than not, you don’t have to pay through the nose for a quality product or service. A good example of this would be medications. The pills you find in generic packets are the same as those in branded ones. The only difference, other than the price, is the box. Before paying extra for a seemingly better product, consider what the differences between that and the generic kindactually are.


Mother Knows What’s Best

Most of what we learn throughout our lives comes from our parents. From the moment that we’re born, they start to teach us things, from how to talk to how to go to the bathroom. They also give us advice on how to handle our money. However, times have changed significantly since your parents were your age. This means that their wisdom might now be outdated. Rather than taking your parents’ word as gospel, you should do your own research.


Managing your money is definitely tricky, but avoiding the myths above can make the task a little easier.

*Post contributed by Sam Jones*



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As we go through life, there are some milestones that are unavoidable. Even if we sail through our teenage years and early twenties not wanting to settle down, this perspective on life will often change. All of these milestones are things to be truly proud of. However, there is one major downside. They are often extremely expensive. But that shouldn’t put you off trying to achieve them, though! For the short term needs, there are options such as Guarantorloans.com, but for the big events, there are so many easy ways to drum up the money. Here’s how.




University


There’s no escaping the fact that university is super expensive these days. Yet it remains a rite of passage for many young people. There are loans that you can apply for which will help you out with tuition fees and accommodation costs. However, these can take a long time to pay off after graduation. So try to be prepared and save up for university. Even if you still have to take out loans, saving will help you get together a big lump sum to put towards paying off your debts. If you can get a part-time job through uni, do so as well. This will be a regular source of income, so you don’t have to be too reliant on loans!


Weddings


Who doesn’t dream of their idealwedding day? If you want a lavish ceremony, you had better start saving now! There are plenty of ways to save cash while you are planning your big day, though. Look online for engagement and wedding rings as some jewelers offer online deals. If you have a large garden, think about holding your reception in a marquee at home. This will reduce venue costs. Many people also get family members to bake their wedding cakes or do the catering for them. It’s a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your day!


Kids


Babies can make a big difference to our lives. They will fill our family with a lot of love, but they can also put an extra strain on your bank balance. Once you know you are expecting, start putting money into a bank accounteach week. This will set some money to one side for when the baby arrives. If any relatives have just had kids, see if they have any baby clothes that they don’t need anymore. Second-hand clothes will save you a lot of money!


First Home


Housing is getting more expensive as each day goes on. Therefore, it is super important to start saving for a deposit as soon as you can. Even if you don’t have much spare money, every little helps. Don’t just put your money into a regular current account. Look for a high-interest savings account that will pay a lot of interest, helping you to increase your money. There are now also many ISAs and savings accounts aimed at first-time buyers. Pop into your local bank and ask for more information on these useful bank accounts.


If you save money wisely, it will certainly go a very long way!

*Post contributed by Sam Jones*






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If you feel like your home is fit to burst under the weight of all your stuff, then it may be time to have a clear out and de-clutter. The problem with clutter is that it sneaks up on you very slowly, and before you know you’re tripping over that pile of books in the hallway, and searching for your dressing table stool under a mountain of clothing.


As everyone’s lives are so busy nowadays, it can be hard to find the time to have a good clear out, and you may find it is a chore that never seems to make its way to the top of the to-do list. Here are some ideas to get you started on your mission to ditch the clutter:


One Step At A Time


Often people wait to de-clutter their house until it’s absolutely necessary, such as moving house. However, this can make life much more stressful at a time when you’re already probably going to feel pretty stressed out.


It’s easy to put off de-cluttering when it feels overwhelming, so breaking the process down into small steps is the way to go.


Starting with just clearing out one cupboard rather than a whole room is a great place to start, and won’t leave you feeling completely swamped.


Image Source Pixabay


Little And Often


If the thought of spending a whole day rummaging through your stuff is your idea of a nightmare then simply commit to spending 20 minutes a day sorting through your things.


An effortless way to get started is, to begin with furniture such as cupboards and drawers. Once you’ve gone through these and sorted out what you’re keeping and what you’re getting rid of you should have freed up quite a bit of space. This means that when you go through other areas of the home, the things you decide to keep can be placed in the cupboard space that you have created. This system should have you de-cluttering with minimum effort, and you should see faster results.


Divide it Up


Rather than just emptying a cupboard into one big mountain of stuff, try to separate it into bags and boxes as you go, this will save you time as you won’t need to handle everything twice and will also make the process more manageable.


You could try having a bag of recycling, a bag for the charity shopand a pile of stuff that you want to keep to prevent yourself from getting in a muddle and so that you don’t have tonnes of stuff that was in a cupboard adding to your clutter.


Storage Is Key


Of course, while you’re de-cluttering, you’re bound to come across stuff that you don’t want to get rid of but are unsure where to keep it. In this situation, you may decide to rent some space at a self storage site. That way you know that your stuff is safe and that you can access it whenever you need it, but without it being in the way at home.







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